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Russia to US: Response to New Sanctions Will Follow Soon

Russia to US: Response to New Sanctions Will Follow Soon

Thursday, 15 April, 2021 - 18:15
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Reuters file photo

The Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday it has told the US ambassador that the new US sanctions were a serious blow to bilateral relations and Moscow's response to them will follow soon.

The ministry also told Ambassador John Sullivan it was entirely inappropriate to warn Moscow against further escalation, it said in a statement.

"We have repeatedly warned the United States about the consequences of its hostile steps, which dangerously increase the degree of confrontation between our countries," said Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The United States on Thursday imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia, including curbs to its sovereign debt market, to punish it for interfering in last year's US election, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged "malign" actions.

President Joe Biden ordered a widening of restrictions on US banks trading in Russian government debt, expelled 10 diplomats who include alleged spies, and sanctioned 32 individuals alleged to have tried to meddle in the 2020 presidential election, the White House said.

Biden's executive order "sends a signal that the United States will impose costs in a strategic and economically impactful manner on Russia if it continues or escalates its destabilizing international action," the White House said in a statement.

The US barrage came the same week as Biden offered to meet President Vladimir Putin for their first face-to-face talks, suggesting that the summit could take place in a third country.

"The invitation remains open," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. She said the United States believes a summit would be a good step forward toward "the development of a stable and predictable relationship" between the two countries.

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